Saturday, Nov. 22nd 2008

Qods Force Officer Arrested in Baghdad

The New York Times reported this week that an IRGC Qods Force officer was arrested at the Baghdad International Airport. The U.S. military announced that the man was arrested because of his involvement in smuggling weapons into Iraq. The Qods Force officer worked for “an organization within the Quds Force involved in the construction and repair of religious sites in Iraq.” The NYT also reported the man was carrying cocaine.

UPDATED NOVEMBER 23, 2008 – DETAINEE RELEASED: Reuters reported that the Qods Force officer, identified as “Nader Qorbani, the deputy head of the headquarters for reconstructing religious sites in Iraq,” had been released. Reuters also quoted Iraq’s Deputy Foreign Minister Labeed Abbawi regarding the inappropriate arrest by US forces, “The Americans detained him. We called them and asked them to release him and we can confirm that the arrest was unlawful,” Abbawi told Reuters. “He’s working here on a contract and he’s been working here for some time.”

Analysis:The IRGC, of which the Qods Force is a part, operates numerous companies which conduct legitimate business while also providing fronts for operational activity such as intelligence gathering and weapons smuggling.

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